Covenants or Factions are a confirmed feature of Elden Ring. Elden Ring Covenants are player-chosen allegiances or pledges undertaken to specific deities or groups of NPCs. Based on previous titles, Players can expect their covenant to affect their gameplay by changing their Online interactions, or by creating new situations were users can collect special items or defeat certain enemies to rank up and obtain special rewards. Rewards are usually Magic, Weapons and Armor pieces.
Elden Ring Covenants Guide
Not much is known about covenants yet. The content below is SPECULATIVE
In this Elden Ring Covenants and Factions: What ER Reputation could be like article, we’ll be looking at the upcoming Elden Ring RPG by FromSoftware and Bandai Namco and speculating on the covenant system that you are likely to see based on past releases.
Some information around this has been confirmed, but keep in mind most of this is guesswork based on past FromSoftware games and development and market trends.
The Covenants and Factions of Elden Ring
Souls games have an interesting take on player allegiance, creating engaging systems that promote role-play and lore exploration, without permanently locking the user into a choice. FromSoftware has experimented with different takes on both character allegiance and reputation, and Elden Ring is poised to offer a new standard.
Reputation in previous titles
In Demon’s Souls, players experienced both a player-driven coop reputation system in the form of “ratings” that happened after your summon session was over, and a Black / White character tendency that changed some world events and character interactions based on your actions. Dark Souls did away with the Character Tendency system but introduced “Covenants”, and allowed players to immerse themselves in roleplaying after pledging their allegiance to a faction. You could change your mind about this, but would incur sin in the process and need to seek forgiveness for having betrayed your former allies.
By Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3, the penalties for swapping vanished and the covenants became a simple item that you equip on a whim as a means to engage in specific combat or obtain a specific reward for completing tasks for the faction.
The Covenants We Will Surely See
It is about time for all of this to be shaken up a bit, but first let’s discuss the factions and allegiances you will surely see in Elden Ring.
A PvE “protect me from invasions” covenant. Since in our previous article we assumed the Multipllayer would keep in the same line, we also expect to see a covenant similar to Way of White or Way of Blue, where your alliance helps you avoid invasions or summons a willing pvp co-op player to assist you.
A PvE “Co-Op” covenant. Praise the Sun. Rinse, repeat. Alright there’s more to it, sometimes there’s a leaderboard such as “the league” had in bloodborne, but the main drive of these covenants is to encourage cooperative online play and reward assisting other players on their PvE and PvP encounters alike.
A PvP “Bloodlust” covenant. The “evil” among us will surely get some shady character to encourage the murder of others via PvP, much as the Vilebloords, Darkwraith and Brotherhood of Blood did in other titles. These covenant usually has a mortal enemy.
A PvP “Guardian” covenant. The “righteous” pvp players who want to defend from the bloodthirsty and depraved – the Blue Sentines and Executioners are examples of this pact.
A PvP “Defender” covenant. Members of this alliance usually defend the boundaries of a territory or hunt down those who have committed offenses against their leaders. These are usually the most numerous, with Forest Hunters, Bell Keepers, Blades of the Darkmoon, Watchdogs of Farron and others as good examples of the possibilities
A PvP “Duelist” covenant. Aimed at those who want to have “honorable” souls duels, these covenants offer a summon sign so invaders are actually invited in (how polite!). The Path of the Dragon and Dragon Remnants are examples of how these mechanics are applied.
Elden Ring Covenants & Factions: What could be completely New
Now just because the previous system was well grooved-in, it does not mean that Elden Ring will follow it directly. There are many ways to improve and enhance this system and, according to a discussion panel among Japanese developers a few months ago, they likely will:
[Tokita] True, well, this is one that I personally like and I think it’s a very painful fantasy drama… There’s pain there and from a human perspective there are themes of racism, politics, citizenship, and so on (…) So this is a work that is psychologically quote painful in a lot of ways and making a game with Miyazaki which such a huge world view.. on a world-level, everyone’s looking forward to it so…
What we are hoping that this means is that the world itself may be further impacted by player allegiance. While it’s understandable that Bandai pushed for the easing up of the penalties for covenant betrayal, it does seem like it has gone too far the other way, making the role-play aspect of it minimal as you can change your covenant in seconds.
There are many opportunities to further the impact of player choice, so first of all, given the rumours of multiple territorial battles engaging in a large conflict in the open world: Faction Allegiances? It would certainly be interesting to see FromSoftware take the Elder Scrolls Online approach and create something akin to the 3-alliance war, where different races and territories are battling over a central section. This gives your character a main identity of your choosing, but still allows you to interact with third party factions outside that main conflict, such as the thieves guild, mages guild, etc.
Following on that line, it would improve the RPG feel of the game to have these choices have a permanent impact in your world state and main story progression. Perhaps your chosen faction determines the game’s possible outcomes, narrowing 9 endings to the three available to your allegiance, and determining the fate of NPCs much like Dragon Age did.
Another aspect we want to see more of is character reputation. This can be implemented with other players, as we mentioned on the “rating” system of the multiplayer system, but it could also add to your in-world activities. Let covenant worship evolve beyond giving them x items to unlock x reward and also create alternate permanent passive bonuses such as discounted materials, increased drop chances, unlocking secret dialogues, etc.
To tie it all up, all of this could go back to the Demon’s Souls approach of tying in with equipment, where unique weapons and items boosted your damage and performance based on your character tendency and the actions therein. This brings the roleplay full circle to your character progression, gameplay and builds.
So what do you Think?
Overall, the faction and reputation systems have a lot of room to grow and ideas from previous games could be polished to provide a whole new level of engagement and role-play, making decisions significant and lore implications important.
So now we want to know what you think: What will the Covenants of Elden Ring be like? Are you expecting something completely different from Dark Souls? Or similar but renamed, like Bloodborne did. Do you expect to see the same covenant system exactly? What are your most wanted changes to the factions, and what do you really, really want to keep the same? Let us know in the comments